NSU Researchers Are Ambassadors for Sea Turtles

Baby sea turtles in the sand

In fact, the Nova Southeastern University Halmos College of Arts and Sciences has managed the local sea turtle conservation program in partnership with Broward County for more than 30 years. Our team of researchers and volunteers monitor 24 miles of coastline to track nesting activity for three endangered or threatened species.

As a student participant in our sea turtle research, you can contribute to laboratory studies, field studies and educational efforts through the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) or assist with our surveillance and tracking.

Featured Sea Turtle Research

turtles made it to the surf line this year

See the Latest from the Shoreline on Instagram

Brighten up your Instagram feed by following our sea turtle surveillance efforts. See the latest reports from our surveillance team. Meet the dedicated researchers and volunteers. See baby sea turtles. What more could you want?
Picture of Dr. David Burkholder

Explore the MEEC Virtually

The work to educate our community on the importance of our marine environment stop, even when the world pauses. During the pandemic, Derek Burkholder, Ph.D., and his staff created classroom resources and sent our educational green sea turtle ambassador, Captain, out into the community while the center is closed to visitors.


See Educational Resources from the MEEC


Researcher Spotlight: Derek Burkholder, Ph.D.

Dr. Burkholder is the principal investigator for the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program and a research scientist with the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Center. He also serves as director of the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC), where he enjoys working with students and the community to promote understanding of sea turtles and our coastal marine ecosystems.

Picture of Dr. David Burkholder

Picture of Taylor Apter, M.S. in marine science candidate

Student Spotlight: Taylor Apter, M.S. in marine science candidate and volunteer coordinator for the MEEC

Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in marine vertebrate biology from Stony Brook University. Her passion for scuba diving and marine biology brought her to the warmer weather of South Florida.

Taylor is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in marine science at the NSU Halmos College of Arts and Sciences. She serves as the volunteer coordinator at the MEEC, as well as pursuing her thesis research on trophic dynamics and heavy metal contaminant levels in threatened northern sea otters in collaboration with Associate Professor Amy C. Hirons, Ph.D.

Sea turtles hatching from egg

Our Sea Turtle Research

The coastline of Broward County, Florida, where Nova Southeastern University is located, provides critical nesting locations for three important sea turtle species.

Our team of NSU researchers and volunteers monitor the entire coastline of the county – from Deerfield Beach in the north to Hollywood Beach in the south. The goal of the program is to provide daily monitoring of nesting activity for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

How You Can Get Involved in Our Sea Turtle Research

As a student at the NSU Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, you can participate directly in our marine biology research and conservation efforts through volunteer opportunities, student organizations, research assistant positions and your own studies. Get in touch with us for details.

Get in Touch

Halmos researchers picking turtle eggs on the beach

Related Degrees

Biology (B.S.)

Prepare for a career in research, education or medicine. Apply your skills through shadowing opportunities in local hospitals, internships and hands-on, original research in subjects like Gulf Stream ecology, brain structure and function, the human microbiome or shark genetics.

Chemistry (B.S.)

Forge a path in industry, education and government – or through graduate degrees in chemistry, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, anesthesiology, environmental protection, law, forensic sciences and nutrition. The exceptional lab facilities and faculty at NSU put the future in your hands.

Environmental Science (B.S.)

A changing environment needs highly educated people who can address both scientific and societal challenges. Core courses ground you in ecology, chemistry and environmental law. Electives, field studies and internships expand your horizons. This degree opens doors to technical fields, graduate study, policy and service jobs.

Marine Biology (B.S.)

The future of our oceans demands a new generation of scientific leaders. Your dedication to the marine environment will put you ahead of the competition in graduate studies in biology, medicine or environmental sciences. It starts with a firm grounding in ecosystems, laboratory techniques and ecology gained as you explore the physical sciences and discover the intricacies of the marine world.

Computational Molecular Biology (Graduate Certificate)

Prepare yourself for the genomics industry and workforce with a solid foundation in both genomics and computer science fields. This program will introduce you to bioinformatics theory, resources and databases as an ideal gateway to more advanced studies in computational molecular biology.

You’ll learn how to interpret complex genomic data, manage large caches of genetic sequences, manage databases and take advantage of a variety of connected applications. This certificate program can be completed online, and courses do not have to be taken over consecutive semesters.

Environmental Science (M.P.S.)

In the Master of Professional Science in environmental sciences program, you have the choice to specialize in marine biology, coastal zone management, computational molecular biology or environmental sciences. This program is unique in providing basic applied marine and environmental science as its anchor.

This program is an excellent choice for any recent graduate or returning professional who requires additional expertise or credentials for career advancement.

Biological Sciences (M.S.) – Research Concentration

This M.S. with a concentration in research gives you the opportunity to pursue your research interests in a specific aspect of genomics, microbiology, evolution, ecology, parasitology, molecular biology or bioinformatics.

As a graduate of this program, you can enter a multitude of careers in any field of biology or continue your educational journey in a Ph.D. or professional medical program. In your research, you’ll tackle significant questions in biology and gain a superior understanding of the scientific method, applying it to your specific research goals and projects.

Marine Science (M.S.)

What better place to advance your education in marine science than at a university with an entire campus and marina devoted to the field? Dive into your study of marine systems with a wide variety of special topics, including everything from shark research to coral reef conservation.

As a graduate of the marine sciences master’s programs, you’ll be prepared for advanced roles in education, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and more.

Oceanography/Marine Biology (Ph.D.)

As an oceanography/marine biology student, you will work directly with a major professor. Your faculty research mentor will help you develop your academic program of study and your research.

This degree focuses on cultivating your ability to conduct advanced, original and independent research that adds to the body of oceanographic knowledge in one or more of the sub-discipline areas.

You and NSU – the Sky’s the Limit

Your support and involvement helps us create, investigate and improve the world around us. Join us in our passion to bring out the best in our students, our society, our environment and our economy.